Activity Introduction

This lesson is designed to be completed independently by students. 

Students will consider persuasive techniques and persuasive writing in letter form. They will read a short article from The Conversation about the convergence of bushfire and holiday seasons in Australia. Students will consider the presented opinion and reflect on this to formulate their own opinion. Next they will complete a set of activities to activate prior learning on persuasive techniques and will then apply their understanding of these techniques and the content of the article to plan, draft and edit a persuasive letter expressing their own point of view on this current issue.

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Year 7 English

  • Understand that authors innovate with text structures and language for specific purposes and effects (ACELA1553)
  • Analyse and explain the ways text structures and language features shape meaning and vary according to audience and purpose (ACELY1721)
  • Plan, draft and publish imaginative, informative and persuasive texts, selecting aspects of subject matter and particular language, visual, and audio features to convey information and ideas (ACELY1725)
  • Use a range of software, including word processing programs, to confidently create, edit and publish written and multimodal texts (ACELY1728)

General capabilities: Literacy, Ethical Understanding, Critical and Creative Thinking.

Background information

The 2019/2020 Australian summer was overshadowed by bushfires raging across the country. Family holiday plans were forced to change as communities banded together to fight against the catastrophic fires.

Tips for Parents and Carers

Students can feel a range of emotional responses when discussing bushfires. If you need further support for students please refer to:

Resources Required

[email protected] from Cool Australia

Lear[email protected] resources are designed for parents and teachers to use with children in the home environment. They can be used as stand alone activities or built into existing curriculum-aligned learning programs. Our [email protected] series includes two types of resources. The first are fun and challenging real world activities for all ages, the second are self-directed lessons for upper primary and secondary students. These lessons support independent learning in a remote or school settings.

This lesson has been developed in partnership with The Conversation. The Conversation’s mission is to be known as a prominent and trusted publisher of new thinking and evidence-based research, editorially independent and free of commercial or political bias. The Conversation hopes teachers will use their content as a source of truthful information, and that teachers can show their students the importance of trusted, evidence-based information in understanding the world around them and making informed decisions about their actions. Please follow the republishing guidelines when using The Conversation’s articles.

Cool Australia’s curriculum team continually reviews and refines our resources to be in line with changes to the Australian Curriculum.


Student Worksheet

Bushfires Wrecked My Holiday! - Activity Instructions

Learning intentions:

  • You will recognise one way society could adapt to the impacts of changing climates
  • You will understand different persuasive techniques and how these can be used to argue for and/or against an issue.

Success criteria:

  • You can identify and apply various persuasive techniques
  • You can read and reflect on a news article and formulate your own opinion on an issue
  • You can write a persuasive letter that expresses your own opinion.


As bushfire and holiday seasons converge, it may be time to say goodbye to the typical Australian summer holiday

David Bowman, University of Tasmania

For 40 years I have studied bushfires in Australia. It has been my life’s work to try to better understand Australian landscapes and the interaction of humans and landscape fire.

As we contemplate a future where catastrophes like the one currently engulfing Australia become increasingly

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